September 26, 2011
Sandpoint Elks, Farm Bureau, and Mountain West Bank encourage 4-H members up the quality of their record books.
Steve Klatt, Elks member, 4-H members with their record book awards; Derek Sawyer, Alex Mays, Clay Rasmussen, Kiah Mays, Kaycee Rasmussen, Patti Speelmon, extension office staff, Betty Kinney, Farm Bureau member and Nancy Wright, 4-H program coordinator.
Bonner County 4-H Record Book Awards
2011 Displays Impressive Quality
In an effort to show support for Bonner County’s exceptional 4-H program and to promote scholastic achievement in an atypical venue, the Sandpoint Elks Lodge began a program to award outstanding project record books a cash award. This program has produced gratifying results of improved quality and expanded efforts by 4-H members over the years, but was financially threatened by this restrictive economy. The Sandpoint Elks Lodge has partnered with two local business organizations as sponsors to continue the cash awards program for outstanding efforts in 4-H Record Books.
Joining the Elks in this tradition to focus 4-H effort on the scholastic end of projects has been Mountain West Bank and the Farm Bureau Federation. The 4-H recipients achieving these $5, $10 and $20 awards have increased dramatically since this program began and this partnership assures continuity in rewarding local youth for efforts in narrating their projects. There is an impressive breadth to all the projects included in the local 4-H program and the volunteer efforts contributed by 4-H leaders are very praise worthy.
The Sandpoint Elks & Partners program to encourage, evaluate and reward the required scholastic elements of all Bonner County 4-H projects has become a featured component of the local 4-H venue. We should take pride in how appreciated this program is by 4-H members and their parents, plus the 4-H leaders. The quality of record books continues to increase, young people are striving to win these cash awards, and the number of awards given has much more than doubled in a few short years.
A program created to award cash bonuses to the top 100 record books reviewed, awards for the program rose from recent levels of nearly 180 recipients to exceed 210 awards in 2011. This year we judged record books on Wednesday through Saturday afternoons to evaluate the efforts put into these books and the quality produced put some pressure on the review committee. The Sandpoint Elks, Mountain West Bank and the Farm Bureau Federation would like to congratulate the 4-H members on their very good efforts.
The primary reason there is support for this 4-H program is recognition for the value in innumerable young lives of our very well structured and managed 4-H program. To hear Bonner County Commissioners consider doing away with the relatively small tax contribution to the Extension Office, 4-H and the Fair is troubling. Balancing budgets is a challenge, but the community contributions of the programs of the Extension Office, 4-H and the Fair are absolutely immeasurable. County government may talk all it wants about preserving our “Rural Way of Life” in Bonner County, but nothing speaks more emphatically for our real links to rural roots than gardening, forestry programs, 4-H and the Fair – for residents both urban and rural. While most Bonner County residents may agree with the concept of smaller government is better, there are many of us who feel the Extension Office and the Fairgrounds are essential components of “rural” life in this county.